“You would think ‘Bitch’ was inspired by a horrible ex who wronged me… but, really, it’s a song about lost love and being left behind. I’m not actually just being a bitch, I promise!”
Born and raised in the Midlands and now based in London, newcomer to the pop-scene Emily Burns smashed the UK Spotify viral charts earlier this year with her instantly relatable modern pop gem, but what about the Burns behind the “Bitch?” We caught up with the wonderful Emily to delve into her musical past and influences that includes a spell at Abbey Road Studios, a little dash of Amy Winehouse and a large dose of old school R&B.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your music?
I’m Emily Burns and I write and sing honest pop songs about real things that are going on in my life. Whether it’s a relationship, a break up, someone mistreating
Was there anything in particular that inspired you to start making music in the first place?
I think I just realised from a very young age that music made me feel something amazing and I wanted to start creating music that gave other people that same feeling. I grew up in a very musical household with both my Dad and brother playing guitar and singing – I wanted to be a part of it!
What are your main influences in terms of other artists?
I like to think I’ve been influenced by a wide range of artists, like Amy Winehouse with her frank and honest lyrics. Growing up I listened to a lot of R&B… Usher, “Confessions” was one of those albums I would just sit and listen to on repeat. I also loved Destiny’s Child, TLC, Gabrielle etc, I just fell in love with R&B melodies and I think those artists shaped me a lot in terms of my songwriting.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Recently I’ve been LOVING the pop coming out of Scandinavia. The likes of Tove Lo, Tove Styrke and Sigrid are great, I’m a big fan! I’m also listening to a lot of R&B still… Kehlani’s “SweetSexyS
You had the chance to work and produce at the famed Abbey Road studios in London – how did that come about? Was it exciting to record in a place with such musical history?
I started working at Abbey Road after I attended a BBC Introducing masterclass there when I was about 17. It was a real foot in door, so I’m very grateful to BBC Introducing for that. I met some amazing producers who helped me to develop and learn and enabled me to start getting my music out there. After that, I got part time work on the front desk and that is when I really learned what an amazing place Abbey Road is. Everyone who works there is a true music lover, many of them being musicians themselves. That’s what makes it so special, I’d urge any artist to record there at some point in their career. It’s a real honour.
You released your first track ‘Plasters, Glitter and Glue’ way back in 2013 – how do you feel your style has changed since then?
Blast from the past! In 2013, I would have described my sound as more folk/pop … I kept everything fairly organic and acoustic in those days. Whilst I still now love to play acoustic and strip things back sometimes, I feel I’ve started to be more daring with my music, working with some amazing producers to create a bigger sound that I hope will hit people a bit harder.
Was it a conscious decision to switch up your style, or do you feel it was more of a natural progression for you as an artist?
I definitely feel it was a natural progression for me… I’ve never really noticed a sudden change in direction, it just happened very smoothly. I still always start writing with just a guitar, so that hasn’t changed at all!
‘Bitch’ is an absolute banger, we love it at Born, and it smashed the UK Spotify viral charts! What was it like to see your music generating such a buzz?
THANKS! So glad you love it. I’m very proud of the song, it’s very personal to me and it has been extremely surreal to see so many people listening and connecting. I was overwhelmed by the reaction and it’s made me super super excited to release the next tunes!
What was the main inspiration behind the track?
I think from the title, you would think “Bitch” was inspired by a horrible ex who wronged me in some way but, really, it’s a song about lost love and being left behind. I’m not actually just being a bitch, I promise!
When you’re writing tracks, do the lyrics or the melody and beat come first?
Usually before I start to write, I’ll have already come up with some kind of lyrical concept and then the rest follows from there. You should see the “Notes” section on my phone, it’s ridiculous.
You worked with London producer biLLLy on ‘Bitch’ – how did that come about? Have you got plans to work with him in the future?
It was my label who put me in touch with biLLLy. He is an absolute dream to work with… he‘s got such a creative mind and is always coming up with really exciting ideas so it’s very inspiring to be in the studio with him. We are definitely working more together, I’m sure you will be hearing the results very soon…
What’s next for Emily Burns? Is there an album / EP in the works?
I spent pretty much the whole of 2017 writing and getting together a bunch of songs that I’m really excited about … there are several imminent releases, fingers crossed you’ll like them just as much as “Bitch.”
Have you got any gigs planned / coming up?
I’m playing at The Monarch in Camden on February 27th and have got some exciting things lined up for the summer!
‘Bitch’ is available to stream/purchase HERE.
Follow Emily Burns on Twitter for more info on upcoming events and music!